It won’t be hard to fall in love with Madrid. Located in the heart of Spain, this capital city is especially unique because it has an urban pace and is well-known for its rich artistic, political, and business culture.
Our program is designed for students who want to experience the vitality of Spain and the large urban university environment of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country’s most distinguished universities where our Center is located.
This program strives to immerse you in the culture of the Madrileños through its academic options, extracurricular activities with university students, and housing choices. In addition to a required Spanish course, you have the option to take a wide variety of IES Abroad-taught courses, as well as local university courses. You can also take a prep course for the Diploma de español como lengua extranjera (DELE), leading to a certificate. This award will be an asset to your résumé and can be earned at no extra cost. Several field trips take you beyond the city limits to sites of historic and contemporary interest. You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship placement and accompanying academic seminar.
Madrid will also be your classroom. Whether visiting one of Madrid’s many art galleries or museums, learning about Spanish culture by taking in a film by one of Spain’s up-and-coming filmmakers, or simply strolling around the city and enjoying the warm climate in one of the city’s many parks, you will be captivated by Madrid’s vibrancy.
We want you to feel at home in Madrid, so we do everything we can to help you integrate into life in the city. From housing to cultural events, our job is to make sure you have the most authentic study abroad experience possible.
After you are admitted, refer to the Travel Dates section of the Predeparture Information in your MyIESabroad account before booking travel.
For students enrolled ONLY in IES Abroad area courses.
For students enrolled in partner university courses. All students are required to complete partner university exams before departure and depart IES Abroad housing the following day.
*Students taking ONLY IES Abroad-taught courses will depart Madrid on December 10.
Students enrolled in partner university courses are required to complete these exams before their departure. Students will arrange the exam date with each individual professor. The exam may take place after December 10, in which case students may stay in their IES Abroad housing until one day after their last final exam, when they must vacate.
Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Spanish Language, and Area Studies, through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.
While in Madrid, take 15–19 credits per semester and all courses are worth three credits unless otherwise specified. All courses are taught in Spanish.
Craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following required and optional components:
Language Certificate Students
As an added benefit at no additional cost, IES Abroad Madrid also offers preparation courses for Spanish language students for the Diploma de español como lengua extranjera (DELE) examination that leads to a certificate. The DELE is the most prestigious award for Spanish language skills and will enhance your résumé. This certificate, covering general Spanish abilities, is offered by the Instituto Cervantes. The exam consists of oral expression, writing, reading comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary.
This is a list of planned course offerings. A final list of course offerings will be made available to you in your MyIESabroad account.
To learn more about IES Abroad’s innovative theoretical and pedagogical approaches to teaching language abroad, refer to the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication.
Enrolling in courses at a local university is a great way to meet Spanish students and improve your language skills. You are strongly encouraged to enroll in at least one local course. Course offerings vary each semester.
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)www.ucm.es
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid is the largest university in Spain and one of the best public universities in the country. Registering for courses at UCM enables you to enjoy full privileges of the school’s activities and facilities.
Courses are available at the following faculties:
When planning, take into account that IES Abroad students are not permitted to take:
When choosing your courses, bear in mind that some classes offered by the local university are academic year courses, starting in October and ending in June. Semester students cannot take these academic year courses. You will receive 3 credits for each course taken at the Complutense. Academic year students who take annual classes will receive 6 credits.
Complutense Final Exams
In the fall, official UCM exams take place through the end of February; IES Abroad students must arrange to take exams early (mid-December) at the time of course registration and subject to professor approval.
Spring students enrolled in UCM courses may not arrange for early exams and will need to stay through early June to complete courses and final exams.
Universidad CEU San Pablowww.uspceu.com
Universidad CEU San Pablo is a non-profit educational organization created by the Asociación Católica de Propagandistas. For almost 80 years, CEU San Pablo has been dedicated in providing educational excellence to its students. CEU San Pablo alumni are among some of the top professionals and entrepreneurs in Spain. Faculty members have a vast professional and research background, who combine tradition and innovation to provide the best educational formation to its students.
Escuela de Cerámica de la Moncloa
The Escuela de Cerámica de la Moncloa (ECM) is part of an educational initiative sponsored by the government of Madrid. It is an independent educational institution that offers a series of classes and learning opportunities. IES Abroad partners with ECM to offer students AR3000 Cerámica, a unique course in ceramic making and techniques.
Interning abroad as part of your study abroad experience will help distinguish your application for graduate school or a job opportunity in today’s competitive market. It’s an exhilarating challenge, and we’re here to help guide you in securing your placement and succeeding in your internship.
Participating in an internship abroad helps you:
All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship.
Customize Your Internship
Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to determine your academic and career goals and try to match you with an appropriate internship placement. We place students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses; if we don’t currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we will search out a placement.
Past students have interned in the following fields. Don’t see your field listed here? Just talk to your IES Abroad Advisor—new internships are always being added.
Course-related excursions are academic trips associated with courses and are organized to complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Spanish culture and society. Participation is based on course registration.
Past course-related excursions are listed below:
We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Madrid, it will feel like home.
Homestays – Live in Spanish homes with señoras or families and eat breakfast and one additional meal per day (either lunch or dinner) with your hosts when the program is in session. In many cases, more than one IES Abroad student is placed with a señora or family.
Homestays with Kitchen Privileges – If you are interested in a homestay but prefer to purchase your own food and prepare your own meals, you may wish to consider this option. With this option, you will receive a meal credit. A very limited number of these placements are available.
Apartments – Share apartments located in residential areas near the IES Abroad Madrid Center. Apartments are furnished, including a fully-equipped kitchen. Utilities, regular cleaning, and wireless Internet access are included. Space is limited, and meals are not included.
Colegios Mayores – Colegios Mayores are dorms located on the Complutense campus and throughout the city. This housing option includes up to 20 meals per week in student cafeterias.
Colegios Mayores are ideal for outgoing students with a high level of Spanish language who want to integrate into local, more traditional student culture, participate in Colegio activities, and are willing to abide by the rules of the Colegio. This housing option is limited and requires an additional fee.
Part of making you feel at home in Madrid is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it is an orientation program that makes you feel prepared, housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services.
The program begins with an orientation that introduces you to the IES Abroad Madrid staff, your fellow students, and the city of Madrid.
Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive orientation & re-entry experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home. IES Abroad also organizes guided visits around Madrid with Spanish university students and hosts a welcome lunch. There are also a range of cultural events, such as Intercambios, cooking classes, Flamenco workshop, and sports.
During orientation, IES Abroad organizes guided visits around Madrid with Spanish university students, as well as a welcome lunch for students. There are also a range of cultural events, such as intercambios, cooking classes, flamenco workshop, and sports available for you to participate in.
Redefine the way you live and learn in Madrid through our cultural activities, such as:
Even though your adventure starts in Madrid, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the culture and traditions of your host country. Some of these one to three-day trips are subsidized by IES Abroad, while other trips are available and may be subsidized by IES Abroad. Here are a few possible destinations.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Tour Aranjuez, home to one of Madrid’s most well-known royal palaces and gardens. The Plaza Mayor of Chinchón was declared the fourth wonder of the municipality of Madrid.
Asturias & Leon
2 Days | Fall
Explore the home of the largest national park in Spain: Picos de Europa. Hiking and visiting a small typical village from the North are also included in this trip.
Bilbao y San Sebastián
2 Days | Fall
The impressive Guggenheim Museum has become the icon of Bilbao; tradition and modernity go hand in hand in this incredible region.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Visit this royal site that was once the residence of the King of Spain, as well as a monastery for the Roman Catholic Church. The palace is also the burial site for nearly every king and queen since the 16th century.
Extremadura: La Ruta de Carlos V
2 Days | Spring
Travel the last route of the Emperor Charles V on his last journey to his retreat in Yuste Monastery, Extremadura. You will be amazed by the natural beauty of this region.
2 Days | Spring
Explore this vibrant city with a youthful population that provides a clear window into Spain’s unique historical symbiosis of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Segovia is known for its Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and for having one of the longest and best preserved Roman aqueducts in all of Europe.
1 Day | Fall & Spring
Known as the “city of three cultures”— Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy that makes the city an open-air museum.
2 Days | Fall
Visit Spain’s third largest city, rich with delicious cuisine, excellent weather, and countless cultural outlets, including the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (the City of Arts & Sciences), one of Europe's most unique cultural and scientific complexes.
Note: IES Abroad field trip destinations, activities, and lengths of stay may vary according to term and availability.
About the Center
The IES Abroad Madrid Center is located in the heart of the Universidad Complutense’s main campus, inside the Colegio Mayor Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. There are two museums — the Museo de América and the Museo del Traje - within walking distance of the Center. Features include:
Dr. Elvira Muñoz has been the IES Abroad Madrid Center Director since 2005. She served a two-year appointment as Associate Director for the Education Abroad program at the University of California Madrid. Her association with the University of California began at UCLA, where she was a Lecturer and Associate Undergraduate Vice Chair of the Mathematics Department, 2000–2002, and visiting Assistant Professor, 1995–2000. Dr. Muñoz received two Distinguished Teaching awards during her career at UCLA. She also has taught mathematics at State University of New York at Stony Brook, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Mathematics from Université Paris Xi, and a B.S. in Mathematics from Universidad de Salamanca. Her considerable experience abroad also includes work and study in Germany, Sweden, and Brazil.
IES Abroad Staff
María José CachoAssistant Administration and Student Services
Marta CamachoAcademic Advisor
Yolanda CharlánStudent Affairs Coordinator
Angel LópezStudent Affairs Coordinator
Gemma Muñoz GarciaSenior Academic and Internship Coordinator
Yolanda RealAssistant Director of Administration